In the absence of world government, effective national policy is essential to the success of international environmental initiatives. Yet research on global environmental cooperation has proceeded without models of policy change in developing countries, where most of the world's people, land, and species are found. In this book Paul Steinberg provides a theoretical framework to explain the domestic responses of developing countries to global environmental concerns. Drawing on extensive field research, he traces the evolution of public policies to protect biological diversity in Costa Rica and Bolivia over the past four decades, to understand how these countries emerged as leaders in tropical conservation and how international institutions might support similar outcomes in other countries.
Environmental Leadership in Developing Countries explodes the myth that developing countries are too preoccupied with short-term economic growth and material survival to devote attention to global environmental concerns. Instead it offers a nuanced account of complex, decades-long efforts to create effective institutions, and analyzes the relative roles of foreign and domestic actors in this process.
About the Author
Paul F. Steinberg is Associate Professor of Political Science and Environmental Policy at Harvey Mudd College and the author of Environmental Leadership in Developing Countries: Transnational Relations and Biodiversity Policy in Costa Rica and Bolivia (MIT Press, 2001).
"Paul Steinberg’s wonderfully detailed assessment of environmental leadership in Bolivia and Costa Rica is not simply an inspiring story of how enlightened conservationists can succeed against frequently daunting odds, but also a highly insightful analysis of how this can be done. By demonstrating the close links between domestic and international environmental leaders, the book demolishes the misleading myth that conservation is the ‘foreigner’s agenda.’"--William Ascher, Dean of Faculty and Donald C. McKenna Professor of Government and Economics, Claremont McKenna College
Winner of the 2002 Harold and Margaret Sprout Award presented by The International Studies Association (ISA) Environmental Studies Section for the best book published on the topic of international environmental affairs.